Genres: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Romance, Tragedy
Reaction Upon Reading: The name of this book is perfect.
“All humans make mistakes. What determines a person’s character aren’t the mistakes we make. It’s how we take those mistakes and turn them into lessons rather than excuses.”
Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up – she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.
Ryle is assertive, stubborn, and maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily, but Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing.
As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan – her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.
“There is no such thing as bad people. We’re all just people who sometimes do bad things.”
Colleen Hoover can do no wrong! She is one of my all time favourite authors and is the queen when it comes to writing contemporary romances. Just when I thought I was going to read another light and fluffy story she hits me where it hurts…in the feelings!
This is an incredibly powerful and important story to tell and I thank Hoover from the bottom of my heart for being the one to tell it
The main character Lily Bloom is a young woman living in Boston. She meets a Neurosurgeon named Ryle on the roof of a building one night after they had each had difficult and emotionally taxing days. They share a series of “naked truths” where they tell brutally honest secrets and thoughts to each other. Instantly you are rooting for each of these characters to get together because the chemistry is undeniable.
The story changes from past to present. We experience the past through Lily’s childhood journals where we learn that she comes from an abusive home, where her Father regularly hurts her Mother. Lily falls for a homeless boy named Atlas whom she watches spends time with daily until her father hurts him so bad that he appears to be out of her life for good. The writing style nails this perfectly and interchanges between past and present seamlessly. The two story-lines seem to be operating side by side until they collide together in an explosive climax.
Atlas is one of my all time favorite male characters. He is sweet, humble, kind, deep, and innocent. He helps Lily understand what love is and what a real relationship can look like. He protects Lily from her father as much as he can and inspires her to follow her dreams. Lily first meets Atlas when she notices he is staying at the vacant house next door. She begins caring for him, allowing him to shower at her house, feeding him and ultimately building a relationship with him. This all started out innocently and grows into an amazing love story.
This book is equal parts sad and beautiful. View Spoiler »I don’t know how Hoover does it but she had me feeling sorry and sympathising with Ryle even though he was committing horrible acts against Lily. « Hide Spoiler
This story by no means glamorized domestic abuse but my goodness I have a new appreciation, understanding and level of sympathy for the woman who stay. When Lily’s mother shared about knowing your limit and not letting that limit stray, I was gobsmacked by how easy this must be to do. How easy it must be to think “Well it could have been worse…like the last time”
Hoover wrote this novel from her personal experiences, witnessing her mother go through these struggles. There is a deep level of raw hurt, pain and human connection that I believe you couldn’t achieve without having lived and understood this and its affects from all sides.
This is not an easy read as it contains very graphic scenes and sensitive subject matter, but it is definitely worth it.
What did you think of this book? What is your favourite Colleen Hoover book?
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